According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals
and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review Bruce McCormack - Studies on Karl Barth's Theology


Bruce McCormack: Barth in response to Open Theism

by David W. Congdon
on July 3, 2008

Bruce McCormack recently edited a volume of essays by Protestant theologians on the doctrine of God, entitled, Engaging the Doctrine of God: Contemporary Protestant Perspectives. The volume is well worth reading, in part because of the range of perspectives represented in its pages—including everyone from D. A. Carson to John Webster. But the book is worth the price just for McCormack’s essay. His article, “The Actuality of God: Karl Barth in Conversation with Open Theism,” is a 57-page exploration of the claims made by open theism over against classical theism as well as the alternative which Barth provides to both of those metaphysical positions. As a way to whet your appetite for more, here is the opening of McCormack’s essay:

For nearly two decades now, the evangelical churches in America have been the scene of a polarizing debate between defenders of classical theism and the proponents of what is typically referred to as “open theism.” After reading through the growing literature generated by both sides, my own conclusion is that each has something important to say; each has “theological values” which would need to be preserved in any truly adequate doctrine of God. The trouble is that both sides are actually occupying a shared ground on which no resolution of the debate is thinkable. It is clearly time for some fresh thinking.

As the subtitle of this essay makes clear, the goal here is to bring Karl Barth into conversation with the open theists. The decision to treat Barth in relation to open theism rather than classical theism is not based upon a belief that he stood closer to the former than the latter. Far from it. As I have already suggested, both sides to the current debate stand finally upon the same ground—a ground which would have to be abandoned if the values now contained in each model were to be brought into a single, unified conception. Barth occupies a very different ground, and as we shall see, it is because he does so that he is able to take up and preserve the values set forth in each of the other two models.

In any event, Barth does not stand closer to the open theists than he does to the classical theists. The decision to bring Barth into conversation with open theism is based simply upon the perception that open theism is attracting a great deal of attention—to the point of disturbing the peace of the churches—and the belief that it is not dealt with adequately where it is met by power plays (e.g., attempts to exclude its proponents from membership in the Evangelical Theological Society). The only adequate response is to provide an alternative which is demonstrably superior to it—something today’s defenders of classical theism have consistently failed to do.

- Bruce L. McCormack, “The Actuality of God: Karl Barth in Conversation with Open Theism,” Engaging the Doctrine of God: Contemporary Protestant Perspectives (Grand Rapids, MI: BakerAcademic, 2008), 185-86.



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Bruce McCormack:
Orthodox and modern: studies in the theology of Karl Barth
http://www.faith-theology.com/2008/09/bruce-mccormack-orthodox-and-modern.html